I love the sunshine but I’m happy when clocks go back

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Zella had a fantastic day at Titchfield Haven and wonders what other local gems she's overlooked      Picture: Gary Taw

ZELLA COMPTON: Looking afresh at our beautiful spot in the world

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Where’s the sun gone then? I’d got rather used to all that gorgeous weather we’ve been having lately.

There’s nothing like a touch of sunshine to make you feel fabulous, particularly when it’s unexpected.

The balmy autumn has been especially great for us cyclists and I’ve really enjoyed my rides along the seafront this past week.

I honestly can’t remember an October before when I’ve been able to sit on a beach eating a 99 and getting a suntan. It’s definitely saved me a small fortune on the fake stuff.

For me, the unseasonal temperatures conjured up thoughts of how the seasons could be altered in years to come. Who knows, one day we could be on the beach at Christmas, having a barbie Aussie-style and sharing a tinny or two.

But I’m a traditionalist at heart, so nothing on earth would stop me having a roast dinner on December 25 – not even scorching weather.

Autumn is actually my favourite time of year, with or without Mr Sunshine. I love the cold, crisp mornings and the crunch of fallen leaves under foot.

Maybe I’m in the minority, but I relish the thought of the clocks going back too. All those dark nights in front of the fire, cosy in fleecy jim-jams and 15 tog of goose feathers wrapped round me. Oh, and a glass or two of red vino.

I’m still getting to know Portsmouth as I’ve only been living here 18 months or so. But I’ve already discovered how friendly people are and how much community spirit the people of Pompey have.

How can you not be touched by stories such as that of fitness fanatic John Kinchen, who is running 12 marathons in 12 months and has given up his 50th birthday presents and cake to raise money for the Rowans Hospice? What a guy! I struggled to do one 10k.

Then there’s Pat Roberts, who in her 80s has just returned to tread the boards in The Sound of Music at the Kings Theatre in Southsea.

She’s been a stalwart of Portsmouth Players but hadn’t been in a show for years. Yet she came on stage and belted out an emotional Climb Every Mountain that had so many people in tears they nearly issued a flood warning!